Eastphalian dialect

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Eastphalian
Native to Germany
Region Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog east2290[1]
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Eastphalian (No.7) within the Low German (yellow) and Low Franconian (red) language area

Eastphalian, or Eastfalian (German: Ostfälisch), is a West Low German (Low Saxon) dialect spoken in southeastern parts of Lower Saxony and western parts of Saxony-Anhalt in Germany.

Geographical extent[edit]

The language area between the Weser and Elbe rivers stretches from the Lüneburg Heath in the north to the Harz mountain range and Weser Uplands in the south. It comprises Hanover Region, Brunswick and Calenberg Land as well as the Magdeburg Börde, including the cities of Hanover, Braunschweig, Hildesheim, Göttingen and Magdeburg. It roughly corresponds with the historic region of Eastphalia.

Classification[edit]

Eastphalian as a separate dialect was determined by 19th century linguistics, tracing it back to Old Saxon variants spoken in eastern parts of the medieval stem duchy of Saxony. In everyday life, very few speakers are aware of talking Eastphalian as distinct to Northern Low Saxon. Towards the Elbe region in the southeast, the language area is increasingly influenced by the High German consonant shift.

Subdivisions[edit]

  • Elbe Eastphalian (around Oschersleben and Haldensleben in the Magdeburg Börde between Helmstedt and Magdeburg)
  • Göttingisch-Grubenhagensch (around Göttingen, Northeim and Osterode am Harz
  • Heide Eastphalian (around Celle, with Northern Low Saxon elements)
  • Central Eastphalian is the Eastphalian subdialect spoken in a large area surrounding Braunschweig and Hanover.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Eastphalian". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.